Why is dental hygiene important?
Dental hygiene is important because your oral health can affect your overall health. Gum disease has been directly linked to other health concerns, such as heart disease.
We stress the importance of preventative dental health services including regular dental check ups, dental x-rays and teeth cleanings at least every six months.
Dental Hygienists – Your Partner in Oral Health
Our dental hygienists will walk you through each and every hygiene appointment. They will teach you how to properly brush, floss and maintain your oral health at home. We encourage proper oral health maintenance at home in combination with hygiene services available at our office.
Good oral hygiene is essential for healthy teeth and gums. Healthy teeth enable you to speak and chew properly, look good, feel well, and enjoy the confidence of a beautiful smile. It is also important to your overall health and wellness as gum disease can cause other significant health problems. An ongoing periodontal cleaning and maintenance program will prevent or stop the progression of gum disease.
The main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque – a sticky, clear film that forms on your teeth. Toxins (or poisons) produced by plaque bacteria constantly attack your gums and teeth. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into a rough deposit called calculus or tartar. Brushing will not get rid of it, only professional cleaning by a trained dental hygienist using special instruments can remove tartar. The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more damage they can cause.
The good news is gum disease is preventable. Daily oral care, including proper brushing and flossing will keep plaque to a minimum, but it won’t completely prevent it. No matter how careful you are in cleaning your teeth and gums, bacterial plaque can cause a recurrence of gum disease quickly after your last professional cleaning. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, a dental professional must regularly check for potential hidden problems and remove the hardened plaque.
Scaling and Root Planing
This non-surgical therapy helps prevent gum disease by removing bacterial build up around the teeth and below the gum line. Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning) is performed by a licensed dental hygienist specially trained to remove tartar below the gum line, and clean and smooth the root surface to facilitate the healing process. It may require two to four appointments to be effective.
Freezing (local anesthesia) can be used to ensure your comfort during treatment as gum tissues are delicate and may be tender. Scaling scrapes off plaque and tartar. Root planing creates a smooth, clean and healthy root surface that allows the gums to reattach to the teeth. The smoother the surface, the less likely bacteria can accumulate and form plaque. Root planing removes irritants, much like removing a splinter from your finger. Generally, there is little to no discomfort after the procedure and your gums will actually feel better.
There are limitations to what scaling and root planing can accomplish. If deep pockets have formed in the gums, the more difficult it is to remove the accumulated plaque and calculus. Also, back teeth are more difficult to reach and more difficult to effectively clean and detoxify. An ongoing program of diligent oral hygiene and regular professional maintenance can be a big help in preventing future tooth and gum problems.
To book schedule a regular teeth cleaning with one of our gentle dental hygienists, please contact our office today.